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SHOCK AS CLARKE ACTUALLY TALKS UP SCOTTISH GAME

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STEVE CLARKE’S high-flying Kilmarnock picked up the sizeable scalp of Hearts at Murrayfield as the resurgence of the Ayrshire side continued. 

Killie visited the capital on the back of a home defeat to Hearts’ city rivals, Hibs, but impressed by returning to Rugby Park with all three points. 

Kris Boyd scored an opener after half an hour before Goncalves evened things up with fourteen minutes to go. However, the Killie renaissance continued as Adam Frizzel came off the bench to fire a winner past Jon McLaughlin with just four minutes remaining. 

Clarke spoke to BBC Scotland after the game and was very positive about what he’d seen in his first four games as a manager in Scotland. 

“I think the levels are okay. Scottish people are very good at running down their own game and I think we should be a little bit more positive about it and try to push the game.

“Let’s talk up the good things about Scottish football.”

Clarke, who was assistant manager to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea as well as being the manager of Reading, Aston Villa and West Brom and the 54-year-old said that he thinks that Scotland can do more to promote their game, similar to the message Brendan Rodgers has been putting across.

“Basically, that’s what the English Premier League do – they sell their game all the time,” 

“I’ve seen some bad Premier League games as well and it’s the same in Scotland – you’ll get a lot of good games at a weekend, you might get one bad one and everybody highlights the bad one.”

Speaking of the result, which was his first win as Killie manager, Clarke was delighted with victory.

“I’m delighted from a selfish point of view to get my first win as manager.

“It was important for the team on the back of some really good performances since I came into the club that we got that win.”

Clarke talked up the Rugby Park club’s run of results, which began on the day Clarke was announced with a win at Partick Thistle. Back-to-back draws with away to Celtic and Rangers were impressive and an encouraging sign of what is to come as Killie begin to climb the table, where the currently sit at 10th.

“We went behind at Ibrox and got a point, we went behind at Celtic Park and got a point and, when we got pegged back here, it would have been easy to fold, especially on the back of a difficult physical game in midweek against Hibs. 

“But the lads showed their character, dug in and got the winner and I think, overall, over the 90 minutes, we deserved to win this game.” 

Killie will return to the domestic fray with a trip to bottom club Dundee on November 18th.

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